The Supreme Court's decision in the so-called goodwill case will benefit thrifts in the short run and the government in the long term.

The ruling in U.S. v. Winstar frees thrifts with goodwill claims to pursue damages before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and gives a boost to legislative efforts to recapitalize the thrift fund. The decision also will help the government next time it confronts a banking crisis.

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